Governor Larry Hogan Announces $18.6 Million for Kirwan Commission Recommendations, Education Initiatives
Includes Career and Technical Education Grants, Before and After School Programs, Teacher Scholarships; Also Provides School Safety Funding
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced $18.6 million in new education funding to go toward a series of initiatives, including recommendations from Maryland’s Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, known as the Kirwan Commission. While the Commission will present its final findings and recommendations at the end of 2018, this funding reflects preliminary recommendations made earlier this year.
“Every child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in,” said Governor Hogan. “That’s why our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education for four years in a row and has been committed to innovative and outside-the-box education strategies, such as P-TECH and our ACCESS Initiative. These new investments are yet another way we are giving our students even more opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.”
The new funding for Kirwan Commission initiatives includes:
- $2.5 million for an early literacy program to provide additional reading support to eligible students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
- $2 million for the Teaching Fellows for Maryland Scholarship, a program that will cover 100 percent of the annual cost of tuition and mandatory fees at the University of Maryland, College Park, or 50 percent of the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at a private nonprofit institution of higher education for eligible students who commit to becoming teachers.
- $250,000 to encourage the top 25 percent of high school graduates from each county to consider becoming teachers by increasing awareness of available financial aid programs for teaching candidates.
- $2 million to promote high-quality, innovative Career and Technical Education (CTE) through competitive grants for local boards of education to partner with community colleges, businesses, and industry to develop and implement an innovative CTE curriculum framework that will align with the skills that local employers need.
- $120,000 for a study to assess the adequacy of funding for special education in Maryland, to be completed by September 2019.
The governor also provided $4.5 million for the Learning in Extended Academic Program (LEAP), which is an academic program offered before the school day, after the school day, or in summer for a school with a high concentration of students in kindergarten through eighth living in poverty and at risk of falling behind academic requirements, along with $500,000 for the recruitment, training, and ongoing development of new teachers.
An additional $4.9 million will be used by the Interagency Commission On School Construction (IAC) to conduct a statewide facilities assessment.
The governor also authorized an additional $1.8 million in the current fiscal year for need-based scholarships through the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).
In addition to the funding for the Kirwan Commission recommendations, Governor Hogan also released $40 million in school safety funding that had been restricted by the legislature in the budget. This funding includes: $23.5 million for safety-related capital improvements; $10.6 million in grants to local school systems to enhance school safety; $3 million for the Maryland Center for School Safety’s operations, including 13 new positions; $2.5 million to help with newly required school safety evaluations; and $1 million for Hate Crime School Safety Grants.
“Keeping our kids safe is one of our most important jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “This past session we enacted landmark school safety legislation to create aggressive, statewide standards for school safety, expand the work of the Maryland Center for School Safety, and require each school system in Maryland to develop assessment teams in order to identify potential safety threats. Working together, we can ensure greater safety in our schools and a greater sense of security for students and parents.”
During the 2018 legislative session, Governor Hogan advocated for significantly higher levels of school safety funding than those ultimately adopted by the General Assembly. He proposed an additional $125 million to accelerate and enhance safety improvements in schools, as well as an additional $50 million annually in operating funds for new school safety grants, which could be used for school resource officers, counselors, and additional safety technology. The funding was to be allocated through the governor’s education lockbox proposal, which would provide an additional $4.4 billion in education spending from casino revenues, and is moving forward as a referendum in the upcoming statewide election in November.